Wednesday, 6 June 2012 9:21 AM

Hospital to Receive Medical Volunteers

The Solomon Islands National Referral Hospital in Honiara will be busier than normal later this week when Australian volunteer plastic and reconstructive medical experts begin their two-week visit.

The team of surgeons Darrell Nam and Mark Lee, anaesthetist Dr Vernon Moo and nurses Jan Sloan and Fiona Webster will be at the National Referral Hospital between 7-21 June to provide plastic and reconstructive surgical services and training.

The visit is funded by AusAID and arranged by Interplast Australia and New Zealand, with support from Rotary.

The Interplast medical team will conduct a consultation clinic on Friday 8 June at 9am at National Referral Hospital outpatients department. Plastic and reconstructive surgery will begin at the National Referral Hospital from Monday, 11 June.

Patients with conditions including cleft lip and palate, scarring from burns, hand injuries and tumours are urged to contact the surgical unit at the hospital for an appointment. Please note that the Interplast team will not see patients with common skin diseases or cosmetic conditions.

Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Matt Anderson said Interplast medical teams have been visiting the Solomon Islands since 1984 to provide free surgical intervention programs to help people.

"Since 1984, they have undertaken 1,651 consultations and 1,048 life-changing operations have been conducted in the Solomon Islands. Interplast has also been undertaking six nurse training visits to the Solomon Islands since 2009," Mr Anderson said.

"The plastic and reconstructive medical team gives Solomon Islanders the chance for specialist medical consultations and treatment not available in country. Not only do they make a difference to the people they treat and operate on, they also boost the skills of local surgeons, doctors and nurses at the hospital, which leaves a lasting legacy."

"The visit by the plastic and reconstructive medical team is one of several specialist medical visits made every year to Solomon Islands and is a very important part of Australia's ongoing assistance to the people and Government of Solomon Islands."

The Australian Government funds around 50 surgical visiting teams to Pacific Island countries every year. This assistance, under AusAID's Pacific Islands Program which is managed by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, fills gaps in local medical services and provides on-the-job training to local medical staff.

Source: Press Release, Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands

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